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Conference focuses on helping families of missing and murdered victims

A group of aboriginal protesters hold hands during a prayer outside the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Friday, February 27, 2015 in Ottawa.
A group of aboriginal protesters hold hands during a prayer outside the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Friday, February 27, 2015 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

EDMONTON — An Edmonton conference is aiming to help improve support to families and friends of missing or murdered people.

The conference, which began Wednesday and runs until Friday, is being hosted by the Edmonton Police Service Victim Services. There’s an emphasis on the needs of families of missing or murdered Aboriginal women.

“This is an issue that touches communities across Canada, so it’s important that regardless of what jurisdiction the crime takes place, we provide the best ongoing and consistent support to victims and their families,” said Insp. Dan Jones.

READ MORE: Missing and murdered indigenous women: Still looking for answers to a decades-old problem

Police said the conference is beneficial for anyone responding to the needs of people impacted by trauma or crisis, especially within Indigenous communities. It explores the challenges of inspiring leadership, building partnerships, fostering collaboration, and creating new practices and programs for victims’ families who may be underserved.

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READ MORE: RCMP report on missing, murdered aboriginal women looks at family violence

A 2014 report showed there were 1,181 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women between 1980 and 2012.

In June, the RCMP released findings on murdered and missing Aboriginal women that indicated there is a strong connection between homicides and family violence. Mounties said female victims, regardless of ethnicity, are most commonly killed by men within their own homes and communities.

The conference is being held at the Delta Edmonton South (4404 Gateway Boulevard).  The conference is open to all members of the community. Those interested in attending can still register and pay at the conference.